Activist-scholars Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn were preeminent figures in the '60s-'70s New Left. Both were leaders in SDS and the Weather Underground. Dohrn was on the FBI's Ten Most-Wanted List. They were in Austin to headline a launch event for The Rag Blog's new expanded website at TheRagBlog.com. Ayers and Dohrn, who have been together for nearly 50 years and are grandparents, live in Hyde Park, Chicago.
On the show we discussed Ayers’ acclaimed two-volume memoir; the 2008 presidential campaign when Ayers’ alleged friendship with Barack Obama emerged as an “issue”; the strategic need for progressives to build a strong presence outside electoral politics and the Democratic Party; Dohrn’s work in criminal justice reform and the tragic role of mass incarceration in the U.S.; the status of the peace movement and the surprising public response against proposed plans to bomb Syria; the endangered state of our public education system and the threat posed by the “educational reform” movement; journalist Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations; and the critical importance of progressive and alternative journalism today.
Bill Ayers is the author of the recently-released. "Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident," a sequel to his critically acclaimed memoir, "Fugitive Days." Ayers, a leading education activist, founded the Small Schools Workshop and was, until his retirement, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has written many books on educational theory, including, with Ryan Alexander-Tanner, "To Teach: The Journey in Comics," and with Rick Ayers, "Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom." Democracy Now's Amy Goodman said that Bill Ayers, in the recently released "Public Enemy," "writes eloquently of the profound challenges, the joys, and the toll of embracing a deep, lifelong commitment to social change."
Bernardine Dohrn, activist, academic, and children's rights, women's rights, and peace advocate, is Clinical Professor at Northwestern University School of Law (retired), and founding director of the Children and Family Justice Center. She is co-author, with Bill Ayers, of "Race Course: Against White Supremacy"; co-editor of "Sing A Battle Song: Documents of the Weather Underground"; and wrote the introduction to "Letters from Young Activists." She is author and co-editor of "A Century of Juvenile Justice and Resisting Zero Tolerance: A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Students."
Host and Producer of Rag Radio: Thorne Dreyer; Engineer and Co-Producer: Tracey Schulz; Apprentice: Ioannis Gatsiounis. Rag Radio (koop.org/ragradio) is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog (theragblog.blogspot.com) and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP, and is rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., Sundays at 10 a.m. (Eastern time) and on Houston Pacifica's KPFT HD-3 90.1 on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (Central). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Running time: 56:34.